A Call to the Heart1

B”H. 18 Sivan, 57192

Peace and blessings!

As a follow-up to my previous letter/response to your open question: “Is there convincing proof for the existence of the Creator that could satisfy us as skeptics beyond the faintest shadow of a doubt?” I find it necessary to add the following lines, as will be explained.

In my previous response, I limited my reply to the parameters defined in your question, i.e. to prove… beyond a shadow of a doubt.” Your words made it clear that you were looking for a logical and rational response.

It is self-understood, however, that this approach did not satisfy me, for two main reasons:

a) In general, people’s emotions and approach to spirituality count for more than the conclusions reached intellectually.

b) Especially for Jews, whose intellect is only a garment for the soul — as explained by the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya and the Shulchan Aruch — and whose soul is “literally a part of G‑d,” a call to the soul, not necessarily through the means of the intellect, is much stronger. We see clearly that in areas of the soul, the emotions have greater effect than the intellect.

Nevertheless, I did not want to get into this issue in my first letter because of the way you asked the question, as mentioned. Even more importantly, I did not want to leave any room for error that the content of my last letter was not sufficient on its own, or that its arguments could be logically refuted. This is why I send this continuation as a separate letter.

It would be needless to emphasize that I judge the inquirers in accordance with the assumed status of Jewish men or women, i.e., that regardless of how they may decide rationally they believe in the truth of righteousness and justice. This belief is strong enough that they would make sacrifices, even sacrifices in their personal lives, for the sake of righteousness and justice, and for the sake of helping one another. This is especially so when the assistance is not merely to an individual, but is rather to a group great in both quantity and quality.

The Job of Jewish Youth Today

Therefore, after having removed the chains and limitations posed by the wording of your question, I allow myself to turn to you as one speaks to a friend with the following:

I see from your letter/question that you are still young, at least insofar as still possessing the energy of youth. You are also young in the sense that you are willing and able to rebel against the majority opinion, if you reach the recognition that it is necessary to do so, and to change your lives from one extreme to the other.

Certainly it has not been lost upon you — when thinking about our world in the present — what happened to our nation in recent years, during the Holocaust. Millions of our people were destroyed in the recent war years — and that leads to the addition of several new responsibilities that never existed before, or that existed only to a small degree.

Another point. Not only have confusion and the blurring of boundaries not lessened in our times, but on the contrary: It has increased at a frightening pace, so much so that it has coerced tens of thousands of people to accept darkness as light and bitter as sweet!

At a time like this, the innermost call to the essence of every single person’s soul is to be amongst those who stand on the front line of people working to fulfill their missions, not only as a personal obligation, but also as reserves filling the roles of the most energetic and best of our people who were cut down in the Holocaust. This must be a fight not just to negate this confusion of values from one extreme to another, but also to disseminate the eternal values of our people in the most certain manner, with the strength and energy of youth, until each and every one of you becomes a spark, kindling the flames of all the souls around you. Is this a time for academic discussions? Meanwhile you are missing out on a day, a week, a month, a year. This is a loss that can never be recovered; opportunities are being missed that can never be replaced!

If this demand is true towards every person, how much more so is it true for the youth and young adults. We see clearly that for the new generation, the younger generation, words of encouragement and excitement from other people their age accomplish a lot more than words from elders, and they are accepted much more willingly.

As mentioned, I do not wish to enter here into a discussion of logical proofs as to the eternal values of the Jewish people, or what the new jobs and missions are. I rely on each one of you that you will definitely recognize them, if you open a book of Jewish history, which extends for thousands of years, soaked in incomparable blood and decrees, and terrible hardships that were never experienced, even in part, by any other nation or creed. If you think about Jewish history, you will find only one set of values that was kept throughout the generations, and remains unchanged until today.

It isn’t a question of logical proof since the facts, the actual events and occurrences, relay a clear and undeniable testimony. Not the spoken language, not the manner of dress, not the external culture or mode of living, not a nationalistic or economic model; none of these are our eternal and lasting values. All of these changed, drastically, from time to time and from country to country. The only thing that remained fixed without any changes in all the places and all the times was the Living Torah, and the practical Mitzvot in our day-to-day lives. These are “the eternity of Israel, which shall not lie.”

May it be G‑d’s will that these lines — few in quantity — should arouse your inner strengths that are latent in the soul of every Jew, to actualize them in an ever-increasing manner. If there is any need for reward — although doubtless the spiritual satisfaction will be your greatest reward — the Creator and Master of the world is certain to provide you rewards also in your personal affairs, each one according to his or her individual needs and situation.

With respect, and with blessings for good tidings.